Just 5pc of European firms are fully prepared for GDPR - BSI Group report
Just 5pc of European companies are fully prepared for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), according to recent research from business standards experts.
Over 1,800 respondents took part in the BSI Group study with participants from countries including Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK.
Despite almost all of respondents (97pc) acknowledging that next month's implementation of GDPR will affect their businesses, they are not fully prepared.
Meanwhile, one third of all respondents said that they are just over half way to compliance with the rules that come into effect on May 25.
Failure to comply with GDPR could result in fines of up to €20m or 4pc of an organisation's annual global turnover.
"There’s a lot of talk surrounding the GDPR but with less than two months to go our research shows that organisations are still unprepared and don’t fully understand what’s required of them," Stephen O’Boyle, Head of Professional Services at the BSI Group, said.
"Becoming GDPR ready is less complicated, less expensive and less daunting than many companies think."
The Dublin-based centre of excellence also revealed that one in five senior managers are actively engaged with GDPR on behalf of their organisation.
Meanwhile, just over one third (36pc) percent are allocating significant resources to meet the new requirements.
Under GDPR, certain sectors and companies must appoint a data protection officer (DPO) - but the BSI survey found that only 27pc of firms have a DPO training programme in place.
Furthermore, the majority (63pc) have no assigned a DPO and more than half do not provide data protection training to employees.
"The new General Data Protection Regulation was set up to benefit everyone and having the right systems in place is not only good practice but will ensure that organisations build trust and transparency with their customers and minimise privacy and security risks for the future," said Mr O'Boyle.